While Argentina is going through a deep economic crisis, presidential elections are taking place, which do not contribute to the stability of both micro and macro variables. The country is experiencing a very high and still increasing inflation rate, currently exceeding 150 percent annually. These are not the best conditions for executive searches. “Of course, the situation has an impact on both the quantity of searches and the pool of candidates open to change,” says Pablo Rodríguez, a member of InterSearch Argentina.
“There are few professionals actively seeking new challenges; most want to keep their jobs and seek stability. But good opportunities also arise.” Companies in privileged sectors of the economy can continuously adjust salaries in line with inflation, sometimes increasing them up to four or six times a year. Attractive proposals come with benefits aimed at the well-being of employees, as well as opportunities for development and professional growth.
The uncertain situation in Argentina demands a quick and efficient search for candidates. “Nevertheless, our clients are often very demanding and always in a hurry,” reports Pablo. For him and his colleagues, who have been part of the InterSearch network since 2006, this requires a determined focus. “We closely accompany our candidates and clients, developing a close relationship, providing them with constant information and support throughout the search and selection process.”
Many executives have emigrated to Europe
Argentina has also become a source of projects outside the country due to the uncertain situation, says Pablo. Many young professionals, in particular, have emigrated to Europe or the United States, for example. This is not a coincidence; many executives are fluent in English in addition to their native Spanish. Argentine universities have a good international reputation and offer solid education. On the other hand, local companies must get creative to improve benefits. “Even some executives receive part of their compensation in dollars.”
Despite the context, the labor market in Argentina is quite active. Both multinational and local companies remain active. “Our challenge at InterSearch is to work strongly on identifying the real motivators for executive change and intervene with our clients to try to address those motivators. Today, in addition to offering candidates, we act as a bridge between the companies and the executives we present,” Pablo says.
He also shares several examples of recent searches they’ve conducted, such as a plant manager and a commercial manager for an industrial company, or the marketing and regulatory affairs management for a pharmaceutical laboratory, Commercial Director for a food company, General Manager for another pharmaceutical company and a Financial Manager for an insurance company.
In the case of the industrial company, it was the subsidiary of a Colombian company with operations in Argentina. Meeting expectations and calibrating objectives within the context of Argentina was a challenge. Additionally, in managerial positions, there is a lot at stake, and these are strategic positions where the client and the consultancy must work as a team to successfully fill the vacancy.
The home office is here to stay
During the coronavirus pandemic, Argentina had some of the strictest restrictions, along with Australia. As a result, everyone initially worked from home. “This was convenient for us because the candidates were also at home and had greater flexibility to conduct interviews with us,” says Pablo. Even now, at least the initial interviews continue to take place online. “This allows us to work very dynamically and meet the needs of clients even faster,” he explains.
Many people have moved away from Buenos Aires in search of more comfort in their homes, Pablo tells us, so those who now have to commute to the office because their employer requires it often get stuck in traffic. Therefore, a new metric has developed for the work-life balance, Pablo notes: How long does it take me to get to the office, how long would it take me in the new job? How often do I need to go to the office? Although some companies have not yet realized it, remote work is here to stay, Pablo asserts, adding that if you offer remote work only a few days a week, finding new employees becomes more challenging. The InterSearch team itself stays up to date and has the option to work in the office or from home.
Despite all the crises and uncertainties, InterSearch Argentina is optimistic about the future. “We are fast, creative, and flexible. We can adapt well even in difficult situations,” says Pablo.